A 15-year-old school boy from Hemel Hempstead is championing the importance of regular eye tests after a routine visit to his local Specsavers led to the discovery of an underlying eye condition.

It was during a visit to The Marlowes store that eyecare experts detected Michael Wisepart’s optic nerve was swollen.

Michael, a pupil at Verulum School in St Albans, was later found by specialists at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital to have a condition called Optic Nerve Drusen, which involves the abnormal accumulation of proteins in the optic nerve, and occurs in 1-2% of the population.

A word from Michael

Michael said: ‘For me, eye tests have always been important, but now they’re even more so. I’ve had a scary experience but it’s even scarier to think that my condition might not have been detected had I not gone for an eye test.

‘Now, I’m being monitored and I’m aware to look out for blurred vision or headaches. I’m sharing my story to encourage others to make time for their eye health too. It might just be the best thing you do today.’

A word from the store director

Daniel Harris, director of Specsavers in Hemel Hempstead, said: ‘Michael had no symptoms and displayed no outward signs of Optic Nerve Drusen. Had he not come to the practice for a routine eye test, then we would not have been alerted to his condition or be able to monitor it.

‘His story is a perfect example of why sight tests are so important, even if you think you don’t need glasses.

‘We want to get to a point where everyone in Hemel Hempstead over the age of three has an eye test every two years. Not only will this allow us to monitor any changes in your vision, but also potentially detect signs of any underlying issues, as we did in Michael’s case.’

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